Norcold E3 Code Fix: What Does E3 Mean on a Norcold Fridge?

When it comes to warranties, not all cover breakdowns or failed parts. Sometimes, it is a manufacturer’s error and the RV brand won’t cover the repair. This is the case when it happens to your Norcold fridge. To get it fixed you have to talk to Norcold, not an RV brand.

The E3 error code on a Norcold fridge is telling you that there is a cooling problem. It does not tell you the exact source and in one owner’s case, the wrong wiring was used during manufacturing. Fix the wire and you should be able to clear the code.

To learn more about this error code, just continue to read our article. It has the information you need to know so you can get to the heart of the problem as quickly as possible. Take a couple of minutes to see how this information helps you.

What is The E3 Code on My RV Refrigerator?


The error code tells you that your Norcold fridge is not cooling properly, if at all. This is not a problem you can let go due to the possibility of food spoiling. When you see this code make sure you have cooling alternatives handy to protect your food till a repair can be made.

There are a few sources for this code and one will be that Norcold put the wrong wire inside its fridge. One owner explained that they put the number 14 gauge wire inside when the schematic called for the number 10 or lower wire to be used.

Another source will be the thermostat. This part could easily fail on you and you should check it first. It is the easiest repair that you can make out of all of the options.

Next, the source could be anywhere inside the general category of fridge performance. When the fridge is not cooling correctly, any one of the following issues could be the source:

- no ventilation or other ventilation problems

- a blockage that stops the airflow

- the thermistor is failing or was disconnected in some way

You should also check your DC power supply. Make sure your battery is registering between 12 and 14 volts and check the fuses to make sure they have not blown.

How To Fix The Norcold Fridge E3 Code


The repair work will vary and depend on what is actually wrong with the fridge. If it is an electrical source problem, you will need to check your battery and if it is not registering between 12 and 14 volts, you should recharge it as quickly as you can.

If it was a fuse that blew, then you just simply need to change the bad fuses with good ones. Check your ventilation to make sure enough air is getting around the fridge. Clean out any blockages you find.

Then use a meter to test the thermostat and the thermistor to see if they are working correctly. Your owner’s manual should have the instructions on how to do those tests.

Finally, if it is a problem with the wiring itself, you would need a technician to go in and identify that issue and then make the right repair. Changing the wiring in a fridge is not the work for DIY handymen.

That goes for some of the other possible sources that trigger this code. Those possible sources include- faulty compressor, low refrigerant levels, or faulty electrical components in the system.

Some problems are beyond some RV owner’s skill sets and it is best to let the professional and approved Norcold technicians work on the problem.

How do I Reset My Norcold?


For most Norcold fridges, the reset action is fairly simple and straight forward. The first thing you need to do is open the fridge door and locate the control panel. This panel’s exact location depends on the model you own.

The second step is to locate the power button on the control board and turn the fridge off. You need to hold this button for about 2 to 3 seconds before the fridge turns off.

Step three has you leave the power off for about 3 to 5 minutes. When that amount of time has passed, just press and hold the power button until the fridge turns on again.

You can read more about this task in our article on Dometic and Norcold resetting steps. Just click Dometic RV refrigerator reset to get to it. Then, there seems to be a very in-depth process when you need to reset the circuit board in the back of the Norcold fridges.

Tips To Maintain Your Norcold Fridge


These tips should help you temporarily avoid receiving the E3 code but they won’t totally avoid it:

1. Change the filters- depending on how often you use your RV, this should be done every 6 to 12 months. A clogged filter is one source for the E3 code.

2. Check your seals regularly- this helps keep the cool air inside your fridge

3. Clean condenser coils- helps your fridge perform normally

4. Check the balance of your fridge- you want to make sure your fridge is level at all times. It is easy for it to get out of level due to vibrations, etc.

Some Additional Words

The most important aspect of the E3 code for your Norcold fridge is your food. This is a code you can’t ignore and leave alone for some time. To protect your expensive groceries, you need to make sure to fix the problem quickly and correctly, then clear the code.

If you maintain your fridge well, you should postpone seeing this code for some time.

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